Focusing on adults’ medical issues and preventative care.
Despite the name, internal medicine specialists are schooled in treating the whole body, not just the internal organs. They treat patients for a variety of conditions and complaints, and they are especially skilled in multi-system illnesses or situations where several illnesses afflict a patient at once. Also known as primary care physicians, internal medicine specialists, such as East Jefferson General Hospital’s Dr. Abby Gandolfi, will see patients for their annual checkup and diagnosis, as well as for treatment and management of acute and chronic illnesses.
Some common conditions treated by internal medicine specialists include:
Acute Respiratory Infections
High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
Respiratory System Diseases
Born and raised in New Orleans, Dr. Gandolfi, chose to pursue her medical practice in Louisiana after earning a medical degree at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine (New Orleans) and completing her residency at Louisiana State University also in New Orleans. Aware of our state’s high prevalence of chronic diseases, especially hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, she explains that helping her patients manage chronic illnesses is a large part of her practice. “Although some are pre-disposed to certain illnesses, for most people being healthy is more concerned with making the right choices, such as eating healthy and exercising daily,” she says. “At EJGH, along with monitoring our patients’ blood pressure, cholesterol levels and glucose levels to ensure that they are within normal levels for a patient’s age and gender, we also stress preventive medicine and patient education to ensure overall wellness.”
Dr. Gandolfi explains that as an internal medicine doctor she will prepare a treatment plan for whatever ails her patients and that may include ordering additional testing, referring her patient to a specialist, issuing prescriptions for medication or therapies, or advising on changes to diet or lifestyle. “Typically, in addition to conducting a physical examination, and reviewing a patient’s prior medical history, illnesses and other health information, we will also conduct or review basic medical testing — such as reading blood and other tests, electrocardiograms and X-rays. We want to make sure we see the whole picture before making a diagnosis.”
Dr. Gandolfi’s patients also may receive advice or education on improving health behaviors, self-care and treatment, screening tests and immunizations. “The goal is to diagnose the medical problems early so that we can manage them and ensure that our patients improve,” she says. “There is no one size fits all when it comes to health. At EJGH, we aim to develop relationships with our patients so that we can understand why something is happening and get to its root cause before we attempt to fix it.”
On why she became an internal medicine specialist: “My favorite aspect of medicine has always been getting to know my patients and developing a relationship with them,” she says. “The idea of caring for patients over a lifetime and through chronic conditions is what drew me to internal medicine. I have always felt it is in my nature to be a care taker. On top of that, I love working with people. Here at EJGH, I work with all types of people from doctors and nurses to medical assistants and students, and I am so grateful to be a part of such a dynamic team.”
On why she chose EJGH: “I feel EJGH is one of the last community hospitals,” Dr. Gandolfi says. “What I love about EJGH is that we are not one of the larger hospitals, so that I get to can get to know my colleagues not just as a name on a chart. The sense of community between the hospital and the neighborhood is strong as well as the sense of community within the hospital. This is a better work environment for me as a doctor, and I feel it is better for our patients.”
On why EJGH excels at chronic care: “EJGH is a partner of MD Anderson, so our doctors have access to top-of-the-line radiology and oncology technology,” she says. “What this means to our patients is that they do not have to leave Louisiana to receive excellent care.”
Abby Gandolfi, M.D.
3601 Houma Blvd., Ste. 402
Metairie, LA 70006
Doctor of Medicine: Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans
Residency in Internal Medicine: Louisiana State University